If you really want to learn a new language, rather than just getting a taste, Groupon is a waste of time and money. Before you pull out your credit card to buy the next Groupon Korean class deal (or any other Groupon class for that matter), consider the following 3 reasons not to buy:
Reason # 1. Groupon inflates the “normal” price
A recent Groupon for Korean lessons at Agape states:
For $118, you get Twelve 90 minute Korean Lessons with Examination and Certification Upon Completion (worth $570).
Sounds like a good deal, huh? It’s true that if you sign up for a normal 12-lesson course at Agape, you will be charged S$ 570 for that. But guess what? In reality, people would sign up for this option, available under the name of ASE Singapore: 10 lessons for S$ 325.
Groupon knows that they can compel their subscribers to sign up if they offer upwards of 70% off. So they’ll do everything to make the “original” price as high as possible. If you do a bit of research, you’ll often find that you won’t have to pay that “original” price.
Reason #2. Groupon classes are often larger
Not only is the ‘original’ often not as expensive as Groupon makes you believe. The Groupon deal is often of lesser quality than what the school would normally offer.
To stay with the same example, the class size of the “original” S$ 325 course is 6-10 people. If you buy the Groupon deal, you’ll end up with a class size of 20.
Small classes are expensive to the school, because no matter how many or how few students, they still have to pay for a classroom and a teacher. But as a student, it’s obvious that you’ll learn more in a class of 6-10. If you’re on a budget, I could imagine that you still opt for the Groupon deal, as otherwise you might not be able to afford the course in the first place. Just know that the Groupon deal, in most cases, is not the same thing: the savings are less than portrayed, and the value in terms of class size, is less.
Reason #3. Unmotivated Classmates
The third reason is a less tangible. The quality of a language class is determined by (1) the teacher (2) the school / materials and (3) the group of participants.
A class can be hugely energizing and inspiring if everyone in it is passionate about the subject at hand. You get infected by the enthusiasm of your classmates, and you’ll take that enthusiasm and feed it right back into the group. Leading to an upward spiral of growing commitment, great results and increased motivation.
But if everyone in the class got in on a S$ 29 Groupon deal, it’s unlikely that you’ll end up in a determined, motivated group. Even you yourself will probably feel less determined to make the best out of the class, since you only paid a small amount for it.
But even if you have every intention to give it your best, you’re likely to find fellow students sit with their arms crossed or not show up after the first lesson. It’s hugely draining on the teacher, too. Not a great way to start off your language learning journey, in my eyes.
Everyone has a different reason to attend a class, and not everyone has the same budget to work with it. But if you are really intending to start learning a language all the way, think twice before taking up a Groupon deal.